Posts Tagged ‘When Flanders Failed


Saturday Morning Cartoons

When Flanders Failed13

“Don’t you think you should get a little fresh air and maybe some exercise?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Bart Simpson

In the early days, when the show routinely came in for social criticism from cranky old people, the writers liked to use Marge as a way to shoot back.  The most famous example of this was “Marge’s” letter to then First Lady Barbara Bush, but they often worked it into episodes as well.

The quote above comes right after Marge asks Bart how many hours of TV he watches per day, and he casually replies “Six.  Seven if there’s something good on“.  That’s the show heaping scorn on brow-furrowing magazine articles and solemn pieces on 60 Minutes and the like about how television is terrible.  It then really drives the point home:


“Marge, TV gives so much and asks so little.  It’s a boy’s best friend.” – Homer Simpson
“That’s the problem.  Even as we speak, millions of children are staring at the TV instead of getting some much needed exercise.  Those children’s parents should be ashamed of themselves.” – Marge Simpson

This is The Simpsons being meta before that was even a term people used.  Marge is parroting all the criticisms, while Homer is listing the simple reasons those critics will always be ignored.  The whole thing ends with Homer asking Marge to apologize to the television after it gives Bart the idea to enroll in karate class.

Despite being on teevee, The Simpsons is perfectly happy to agree that television is terrible for people.  It just isn’t going to pretend to care.  What it is going to do is make fun of people who do care by showing how utterly ineffective all their shame throwing is.  The joke, as with so many of their best, is on all of us.


Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed12

“Homer, this is the Flanders’ entire living room set.  How much did you pay for this?” – Marge Simpson
“Only seventy-five beans!” – Homer Simpson
“Seventy-five dollars?  Ned must be desperate.” – Marge Simpson
“I’m sure you did nothing to discourage this, you scavenger of human misery.” – Lisa Simpson
“Hey, keep your hands off my china hutch!” – Bart Simpson


Quote of the Day

CFL Draft

“Hi, Ned.  Homer sends his apologies, but, um, there was some important work at the plant that only he could take care of.” – Marge Simpson”
“We now return you to exciting fifteenth round action at the Canadian Football League draft.” – TV Announcer
“And so, the Saskatchewan Rough Riders, who scored only four rouges all last season, Jack . . . ” – CFL Analyst


A Little Weekend Reading

When Flanders Failed11

“Oh, right as rain!  Or, as we say around here, left as rain!” – Ned Flanders
“Just stamp the ticket.” – Guy

There are two things I didn’t have time to properly explain in Reading Digest yesterday. The first is our old friend Noah P, who’s adding a new twist to his “watch ’em all” blog: Character Files. Similar to that “Permanent Record” thing we tried to do here a few years ago, he’s taking a look at one character’s appearances through the show. He’s done a couple of big name characters (Troy McClure, Frank Grimes), but my favorite so far is the “Just Stamp the Ticket Guy”:

When Flanders begins to start taking about non-parking-related things, he scolds, “Just stamp the ticket”, hence his nickname given to him by the hardcore Simpsons fan community. But…is that all we saw of him?

No. His legacy would not end there.

Turns out JSTTG is a jerk all the time. When the Squeaky-Voiced Teen tries to talk to him, he scurries away, saying, “Don’t touch me”. Then, when he sees Barney Gumble dressed as a baby, passing out fliers, he says, “You disgust me”. He also tells Marge that his kids aren’t stupid enough to want one of her wishbone necklaces, and for an encore, he punches a hippie, and later, Homer. A man of a few words, most of them rude.

Anyway, if you’d like to put in a request for another character, click through.  Surely the Sarcastic Guy (“Okay, but I’m only paid to drive”) can’t be too far behind?

Second is our old friend Wesley Mead on that Nigerian princess episode in Bakwa Magazine:

It’s significant that the characters featured are an unnamed King and his daughter, a Princess. This allows for Moe’s initial concern that they are connected to a “Nigerian prince” who had scammed him on the Internet. But in aid of a silly, predictable subplot (one that’s not too timely, either— 419 scams were parodied in Fox stable mate Futurama eight years ago), The Simpsons’ crew have failed in their responsibility to reach beyond the lowest common denominator.

The same site also asked yours truly and some other writers to comment on that one. My favorite was this, from Ikhide Ikheloa:

This episode is disappointing on at least one level— the script was poorly written. As someone who used to watch The Simpsons religiously in the past, it just seemed disjointed and contrived. Sarcasm, snide retorts and brilliant takes on society’s dark sides are her trade mark, but this episode struggled.

Indeed it did.


Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed10

“You know, at times like these, I used to turn to the Bible and find solace.  But, even the Good Book can’t help me now.” – Ned Flanders
“Why not?” – Homer Simpson
“I sold it to you for seven cents.” – Ned Flanders
“Oh.” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed9

“Apple . . . apple . . . apple . . . c’mon, candy bar . . . hey, I know you!  You’re that first apple I didn’t want!” – Homer Simpson


Quote of the Day

When Flanders Failed8

“Don’t you think you should get a little fresh air, and maybe some exercise?” – Marge Simpson
“Yeah, but what are you gonna do?” – Bart Simpson


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